Understanding Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Temporomandibular joints (TMJs) attach your lower jaw to your skull. You have one on each side of your head just in front of your ears. These joints make up a complex system of cartilage discs, nerves, and bones.

Issues with the TMJ typically stem from having an improper bite, perhaps because of trauma. Upper and lower teeth are misaligned and consequently do not properly align. Improper alignment can cause the muscles that support your back, face, and neck to become tense and strained. This is what is often responsible for the pain associated with of TMJ disorders.

tmj treatment plan

TMJ Disorder (TMJD) Symptoms

Dr. Roberson may suspect TMJD if you have one or more of these symptoms:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Worn teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Cracks in teeth or restorations
  • Facial pain
  • Ear congestion
  • Back, neck, or shoulder pain
  • Jaw joint pain
  • Pain in different teeth
  • Grating or clicking sound when moving your jaw
  • Locking or limited movement of jaw
  • Arms or hand numbness
pic TMJD 2After diagnosing TMJD, your Birmingham dental team will create and recommend a treatment plan customized to your specific situation. Many patients have shared with us that the reason they went for so long without seeking treatment is that they suffered for years without knowing why.  The improvement in their quality of life has resulted in only one regret: not knowing they could have done something about it sooner!

Additional Benefits of Treatment

TMJD treatment often produces better facial alignment. Patients who had an underbite find that their chin looks more balanced, and their face more evenly aligned following treatment, whereas those with an overbite often notice a stronger chin and a better defined jaw line.

Dr. Roberson is both a cosmetic and a neuromuscular dentist, which means that he and his Birmingham dental team will consider your smile when completing TMJD treatment. This could include recontouring or reshaping to give you an aesthetically pleasing smile in addition to eliminating your pain.

Because ignoring pain or joint issue can lead to more significant future issues, if you recognize any of the symptoms listed above, please do not hesitate to contact Roberson Dental for a prompt evaluation.


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Top-rated dentist in Birmingham, also servicing Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and Homewood.

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Tuesday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 3:00pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed
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** Fridays are administrative work days for Roberson Dental.

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